Went up to Big Wine Country for Thanksgiving

Went up to Big Wine Country for Thanksgiving. That’s what I call Pioneer, CA, up in the mountains about ninety minutes east of Sacramento. Not that we were there for the wine. My parents live there, and it was high time my toddler got to spend turkey day with his grandparents.

It was a nice and nothing long weekend. We got there on Thursday, and made it early enough to help with some of the preparation. My mother, bless her heart, asked me to peel “six or seven” potatoes for mashing. I tripled that. Anything less than five pounds of mashed potatoes and it’s not Thanksgiving.

On Saturday we drove into Jackson to meet Santa Claus and watch the lighting of the holiday tree. Yep, I’m going to call it that even though I just mentioned Santa Claus and virtually everyone in Amador county is Christian (with most of them leaning right on the political sway). But the big thrill for my two-year-old was, of course, the fire truck. The look on his face was like an early Christmas for me.

The weather treated us nice, with temperatures in the 50s until Monday when it finally snowed. I managed to get a run in- a four mile jaunt that started at 3900 feet, dipped down to 3800, then peaked at 4200 a mile and half later at the turn around. It was the return, that 100 foot climb over half a mile at the end that about killed me. But a cheap Mexican beer and a few shots of cheaper tequila afterwards brought me back to life.

When it did snow it wasn’t all that much, but enough for grandpa to scrape the deck and build a snowman for the kid. Grandpa also helped the wife turn a pen (that’s shop talk for: put a block of wood on a lathe, shape it, insert pen parts, coat in plastic, rejoice). And grandma made me some notebook covers (“fauxdori”) out of a few leather scraps. It was a crafty weekend.

I finally told mom and dad about my depression and anxiety. They took it in stride